Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Ann Cole

Got My Mojo Working (But It Just Won’t Work on You)

First performed and released by Ann Cole with The Suburbans and Orchestra (1957).
First recorded by Muddy Waters (1957).
Also recorded by Louis Jordan (1957), Muddy Waters (1960).
Hit version by Jimmy Smith (US #51/R&B #18/UK #48 1966).

From the wiki: “Late in 1956 Ann Cole went on a short tour through the Southern states with Muddy Waters, during which she regularly performed a new song written by Preston Foster, ‘Got My Mo-Jo Working’. The song impressed Muddy Waters, who recorded it in December 1956 when he returned to Chess Records, adding some of his own words and allocating himself the songwriting credit. Ann Cole recorded her version of ‘Mojo’ in January 1957, with The Suburbans and Orchestra, for Baton Records, as the follow-up to ‘Are You Satisfied’. Both versions of ‘Mojo’ were released in the same week in April 1957.

“The song has been the topic of copyright litigation. Dare Records, holder of songwriter Foster’s copyright, and Arc Records, holder of the McKinley Morganfield (a.k.a. Muddy Waters) copyright, settled out of court, with Arc deferring to Dare’s copyright. The two versions are still separately copyrighted. Nonetheless, MCA/Chess Records has credited the song to Foster in more recent years.